My father was raised Catholic. I was not. And as a Catholic, my father probably felt guilty about that. Thus, when I was in elementary school, every few weeks my father would try to take me to church. Naturally as a little kid, I didn't want to wake up early on Sunday morning; I would rather sleep in, watch cartoons and play with my Legos. Consequently, my father bribed me into going by promising McDonald's breakfast afterwards. And if you knew me as a kid, that was an offer I couldn't refuse.
Church is weird from the point of view of an outsider, especially for a weird child like myself. Although the concept of it can be great, it revealed discrepancies that bothered me, even as a kid. I was only aware of these oddities because I was a distanced observer, an outsider, sitting among the zombie-like masses who creepily murmured "Amen" on cue. For example, growing up in a city, your parents and teachers tell you, "Don't talk to strangers". Yet at church, you were supposed to willingly shake the hand of your glazed-eyed neighbor in the pew (aka stranger) and say "Peace be with you"...? Or the fact that parents censor violence (in media) from children because violence is bad, yet every Sunday there were images in the stained glass windows championing a man being tortured, not to mention the life size replica of the man tacked up on a cross looking down upon you... Hmm, as a kid that was confusing. And the praying... oh boy. I had nothing to pray about. I wasn't aware that "God" had given me everything. No one had notified me of this fact. I assumed my parents had given me everything, from the clothes on my back to the Legos waiting for me at home. I didn't feel thankful to the guy on the wall and thus felt like an outsider every time kneeling happened.
What was comical about my experience, however, was the fact during Communion, when people ate the "body of Christ" via bread/cracker, we ducked out. My father would say, "We don't need to stay for this". Like Keyser Soze, we boldly walked out of the church unnoticed, turned the corner, and swiftly got into the white Volvo. Thankfully no one chased us. Minutes later, we were at McDonalds. Only years later did I realize the ridiculousness of this act. In one sense, we left church to eat the body of Christ in Ronald McDonald. And he was yummy.
Now, you might say, "Well, he certainly missed the point". True... And probably due to my alien-like encounter with Mass (among other reasons) I do not believe in religion. But, on the other hand, does it matter? Even as a kid I was thankful for being alive and earning my McMuffin. And I can say with absolute scientific certainty that "God" gave me McMuffins: He was the reason we ended up at McDonald's on Sunday morning. And I can give thanks to Him for that.